The race for the Republican presidential nomination turns to Super Tuesday, when votes will be held in ten states.
Mitt Romney currently leads the field in delegates, but former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum is nevertheless looking to give the former Massachusetts governor a run for his money. Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is hoping to make a comeback in the race, and it appears U.S. Rep. Ron Paul has no plans of dropping out.
The following states will hold primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday: Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.
From delegates to endorsements, click here for a rundown on who's running ahead in the primary race.
Check out the live blog below for the latest developments leading up to Super Tuesday.
Rick Santorum, a conservative Catholic who is outspoken about faith-based issues, lost Catholic voters by a wide margin in Ohio on Tuesday, potentially a key factor that allowed Mitt Romney to squeak out the narrowest of victories overall in the state.
According to CNN’s exit polls, Romney took 43% of Ohio Catholics on Super Tuesday, compared to 31% for Rick Santorum, and Romney beat Santorum overall by 38% to 37%.
A Wall Street Journal editorial says that Santorum has reason to fight on:
If Republican poohbahs were hoping that Super Tuesday's 10 contests would settle the Republican primary contest, they woke up Wednesday disappointed. While Mitt Romney had a good night and stretched his lead among delegates, Rick Santorum did well enough to more than justify staying in the race.
Read the whole thing here.
President Obama only received 57 percent of the vote in Oklahoma's Democratic primary, losing 15 of the state's counties. Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry, who announced last year he would challenge Obama on the Democratic ticket, got 18 percent of the vote.
The AP reports:
President Barack Obama's victory in Oklahoma's Democratic primary was far less emphatic than typical for an incumbent president, and his poor showing in more than a dozen of the state's counties threatened to cost him a unanimous re-nomination.
With all the state's 1,961 precincts reporting unofficial results from Tuesday's vote, Obama had 57 percent of the ballot. An anti-abortion activist, Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, had 18 percent and under party rules could lay claim to at least one delegate.
"This shows real dissatisfaction," said Ben Odom, a political strategist and a former vice chairman of the state Democratic Party. "You had a pro-life activist and three people who didn't mount a campaign get 44 percent of the vote. ... An incumbent president ought to be polling at least 80 percent, particularly against this kind of opposition."
Prior to Tuesday, Obama had claimed all delegates, the Democratic National Committee said last week. Odom said a vote count showing that more than 40 percent of Oklahoma Democrats disapprove of the president's job performance is "a real disaster for the Obama campaign in Oklahoma."
Read more here.
Rick Santorum sent a fundraising email to supporters Wednesday morning following his wins in three Super Tuesday states.
Our campaign is defying expectations and stunning pundits across the country, with decisive wins in Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Dakota and almost winning a stunning upset in Ohio despite being outspent 12 to 1.
Our message is resonating with voters and our hard work is paying off. With votes less than a week away in Kansas, Alabama and Mississippi we aren't taking anything for granted.
We remain focused on spreading the word about our "Made In America" plan which will create jobs and get our economy humming again, making certain voters everywhere know we need a principled, nominee who can stand up to President Obama on the big issues like Obamacare and Cap & Trade and someone who will take on the reckless spending in Washington.
To help us spread our message, we are asking every supporter to recommit themselves to our campaign with an immediate donation of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more to help us build on our momentum. Please consider every dollar you invest in our campaign a down payment on a brighter future for America.
We have the momentum now let's take advantage of it. Help me send a clear message to Barack Obama that Americans are not looking for someone that they can believe in; they're looking for a President who believes in them.Working hard for America,
Eric Cantor says that Mitt Romney, the candidate he has endorsed, will be the GOP nominee.
The AP reports:
The No. 2 House Republican says Mitt Romney, despite some setbacks, will emerge from the GOP presidential nominating fight as the party's standard-bearer against President Barack Obama.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor tells CBS "This Morning" that Romney's ascension to the top is inevitable, saying his two closest rivals, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, "have not demonstrated an ability to do what needs to be done" to lock down the nod.
Mitt Romney emailed supporters after a successful Super Tuesday night:
Tonight we celebrate because of you.
Whether you voted, made phone calls to friends or strangers, volunteered at events, attended a rally, donated to the campaign, or shared our message on Facebook -- thank you.
This marks an important moment in this election. We are moving forward with momentum and a clear message to the American people: more jobs, less debt, smaller government. And it's this message that will help us defeat President Obama in November.
But make no mistake, this campaign is about more than replacing a President. It's about restoring America's promise.
We still believe in the hope, the dream, and the promise of America -- that our future is better and brighter than these troubled times. This conviction guides our campaign and rallies millions to our cause. And it's the message we took to these 10 states today and will continue to take to every corner of the country tomorrow.
This is our time for choosing. Today, hundreds of thousands of Americans joined our fight to restore American greatness. Tomorrow, we go back to work.
|@ Philip_Elliott : COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's 'Joe the Plumber' of 2008 campaign fame wins GOP nomination in US House race #2012|
Mitt Romney is the projected winner of the Ohio primary by the Associated Press.
|@ FixAaron : Kaptur, on MSNBC, says she hasn't spoken to Kucinich yet.|
|@ breakingpol : US Rep. Dennis Kucinich concedes race to Rep. Marcy Kaptur in Ohio Democratic primary - @ap|
|@ HuffPostMedia : Wolf Blitzer: 'really really difficult, if not impossible' for Santorum to win in OH. #supertuesdaywednesday|
|@ DWStweets : It was a particularly bad #SuperTuesday for Romney, who once again failed to close the deal—despite millions spent. http://t.co/ika3lKHx|
|@ AntDeRosa : Fox News is reporting that the Romney campaign states their numbers show Romney up 12k with 20k left to count.|
|@ mmurraypolitics : Wow RT @ChadPergram: Kucinich says Kaptur ran campagin "that was utterly lacking in integrity" and he fails to congratulate her.|
BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray reports:
Rick Santorum hopes to revive his assault on Mitt Romney with an intensifying on the links between Romney's health care plan and President Obama's, two top aides said Tuesday.
"I don't think there's been enough conversation as it relates to the model of RomneyCare and how it's very close to ObamaCare, and I think he's got a lot to answer for," said Santorum campaign manager Mike Biundo.
Click here to read more.
HuffPost's Amanda Terkel and Ryan Grim report:
On Tuesday night, progressives confronted the unimaginable: Congress without Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). The eight-term congressman lost his primary election for Ohio's newly created 9th district to Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio).
The loss also deprives the nation of a general election contest between two national polarizing figures, as one of the candidates in the district's GOP primary was Joe Wurzelbacher -- better known as "Joe the Plumber." The GOP race was still too close to call at the time of publishing.
Click here to read more.
|@ jonward11 : Santorum supporters still watching results in Steubenville High cafeteria http://t.co/RRlDjYrt|
|@ ProducerMatthew : John King, CNN: "Winning. Winning. Winning matters in politics." #winning|
|@ HuffPostMedia : What is Super Tuesday without the Tuesday? We get existential this time of night.|
|@ nprpolitics : 96% reporting in Ohio: Romney 37.8%, Santorum 37.2%, Gingrich 14.6%, Paul 9.3%|
|@ GOP12 : Palin on Fox News: "I voted for the cheerful one -- Newt Gingrich."|
|@ CNNPolitics : #CNN's Gloria Borger reports that Santorum is prepared to spend at least $1m in Kansas & upcoming races. #CNNElections|
|@ TheFix : Hard for me to believe Santorum folks could convince Newton Leroy Gingrich out of the race.|
|@ GarrettNBCNews : Unbelievable to me that the Texas primary, and its 155 delegates, might still end up mattering at the end of MAY #ComeBackToTexas|
|@ FixAaron : Only 2 of 10 outstanding counties in Ohio are going for Santorum.|
|@ JesseRodriguez : NBC: Santorum strategist tells reporters that campaign will pressure Newt Gingrich to leave race|
|@ OFA_OH : There’s one thing we do know, @BarackObama got more votes today than whoever may be declared the winner of the Ohio GOP primary.|
Roll Call reports:
Rep. Marcy Kaptur is on track to defeat fellow Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich in a redistricting-forced primary tonight, capping the Congressional career of Cleveland’s onetime “Boy Mayor” and the House’s resident peace advocate.
Kaptur, the dean of the Ohio delegation, led the two-time presidential candidate, 58 percent to 38 percent, with 78 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Ohio Secretary of State. The race had not been officially called as of 11:30 p.m., but Kaptur’s 20-point lead is virtually insurmountable.
Click here to read more.
|@ Jordanfabian : John King: "We have not officially called Ohio, let's make that clear."|
|@ BuzzFeedBen : Romney supporter (of course): "Phew. Romney does not succumb to New Yorker mag cover jinx."|
|@ howardfineman : GOP campaign is beginning to feel like Groundhog Day. Every Wednesday we wake up to the same story: wobbly frontrunner, flawed challengers.|
|@ mlcalderone : MSNBC's Martin Bashir: "Mitt Romney is the Prince Charles of the Republican nomination." #SuperTuesday|
|@ TheFix : "We're sort of the MacGyver campaign if you will." -- Santorum strategist John Brabender.|
|@ jonward11 : ouch RT @fivethirtyeight: Santorum Falling Just Short of Ga. Delegate Threshold http://t.co/bglDgQ5D|
|@ BuzzFeedBen : Virtually every county with uncounted votes here is one Romney's winning http://t.co/B37yIBxY|
|@ BuzzFeedAndrew : Erick Erickson now conceding on CNN that Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee.|
|@ howardfineman : Romney has the $ + org big time but can't put away two deeply flawed foes because they're far closer to the faith-based heart of the party.|
|@ chucktodd : NBC can project Romney will win Idaho caucuses... And he'll win big enough to garner all 32 delegates.|
|@ BenjySarlin : Romney delegate leads not half as important as Newt, Santorum having motive to stay in another month -- at least|
HuffPost's Elise Foley reports:
Newt Gingrich won the Republican presidential primary in Georgia on Tuesday. He isn't likely to win any of the night's other states, but it was enough to keep his campaign alive.
"It's all right, there are lots of bunny rabbits that run through, I'm the tortoise," he said in Atlanta, Ga., after results came in from the state. "I just take one step at a time."
Click here to read more.
|@ electionate : Romney has lead in Ohio - his margin should keep growing|
|@ fivethirtyeight : Yeah, now Romney starting to look pretty good in Ohio. Just won Clermont County, which is a big deal.|
|@ BenjySarlin : "I don't want to miss a thing" comes on at Santorum party to audible, visual groans|
|@ alicetweet : After sweeping victories in TN, ND, and OK, @RickSantorum watches down to the wire returns in Ohio. http://t.co/Yj52XYMK|
In a race that could be decided by mere hundreds of votes, former candidates no longer even running are racking up thousands. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has 5,715 votes so far, according to the Ohio secretary of state website, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has 4,832.
-- Arthur Delaney
|@ samsteinhp : CNN has Romney retaking the lead in Ohio|
HuffPost's Ryan Grim reports:
"He's got to start winning some primaries."
Rand Paul's Yogi Berra-esque advice to his father, delivered in late January, was with the Ron Paul campaign as February became March and that victory remained elusive.
The libertarian-leaning congressman from Texas spoke this evening to supporters in North Dakota, a state, along with Alaska, he's been working hard to win.
Click here to read more.